USMNT hopeful Slonina pictured with Poland coach amid reports Chicago Fire keeper could switch allegiance before 2022 World Cup

Gabriel Slonina Chicago Fire 2022Getty Images

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina has been pictured with Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz, leading to speculation over the 17-year-old USMNT hopeful's international future.

Slonina, widely regarded as one of the best young keepers in the game, has been called up to the USMNT before but remains uncapped.

As a result, Slonina could still switch national team allegiances before the 2022 World Cup later this year due to his Polish ancestry.

What's causing concern?

Manchester City's Zack Steffen is currently first choice under Gregg Berhalter, but his howler against Liverpool at the weekend has led to increased calls for Slonina to be included in the USMNT's World Cup squad – and potentially even start, such is his talent.

Those calls have only intensified following Slonina's meeting with Michniewicz, with fans concerned that the youngster could have already decided to represent Poland.

How good is Slonina?

Despite being so early on in his development, Slonina has already been compared to goalkeeping greats such as Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer, and was named to the NXGN 2022 list as one of the most promising young players in the world.

“I use it as motivation,” Slonina told GOAL when asked about how he handles seeing his name next to two men he grew up idolising. “I'm already getting compared to them so why can't I be at that level?

“They’ve accomplished so many big things that I hope to accomplish in my career.”

The ambitious youngster has kept five clean sheets in seven Major League Soccer games so far this season and set the record for most MLS clean sheets before turning 21 (nine) last weekend.

And as the record holder for youngest player ever to keep a clean sheet in America's top tier, it is perhaps not difficult to see why European heavyweights such as Manchester United, Juventus and Atletico Madrid have all been credited with an interest in signing him.

Further reading